Fall Mushroom Foray | Educational Program

Learn about edible and poisonous mushrooms in the field

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Distance

1 Miles

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Elevation Gain

500 Feet

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Difficulty

Easy/Moderate

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Members Only

Progam Overview

*Members Only Course: Becoming a member grants you access to all Glacier Institute educational day programs for free!

September 21, 2024: This course will provide a thorough introduction to edible mushrooms and the role fungi plays in the northern Rockies ecosystem. You will need no previous education in mycology to take this course, but since most fungi have no common names, familiarity with the concept of genus and species names will improve your appreciation of the material. Students will gain familiarity with the use of a botanical key in identifying fungi, and learn the ecology and uses of edible mushrooms and how to discern between edible and poisonous mushrooms in the field. Since spring and fall species are quite different, be sure to sign up for our Spring Mushroom course to get a complete mushroom experience.

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Fall Mushroom Foray | Educational Program

Hike Overview Continued

*Members Only Course: Becoming a member grants you access to all Glacier Institute educational day programs for free!

Instructor: Julia Smit

This course will provide a thorough introduction to edible mushrooms and the role fungi plays in the northern Rockies ecosystem. You will need no previous education in mycology to take this course, but since most fungi have no common names, familiarity with the concept of genus and species names will improve your appreciation of the material. Students will gain familiarity with the use of a botanical key in identifying fungi, and learn the ecology and uses of edible mushrooms and how to discern between edible and poisonous mushrooms in the field. Since spring and fall species are quite different, be sure to sign up for our Spring Mushroom course to get a complete mushroom experience. 

Meeting Place: Glacier Institute Field Camp. 

Tentative Itinerary (subject to change): We will begin the day at 7 a.m. with questions, discussions, and slide viewing throughout the early morning, and then depart for prime mushroom habitat near Glacier. We will learn to identify and study the complexities of local mushrooms and search for mushrooms growing in such specialized habitats as riparian areas and recent forest burns. We will seek out the different ecological niches- riparian, sylvan, alpine and montane of northern Rockies fungi and we’ll probably find several species in each site. Students will get a glimpse of the enormous number of fungi that are the source of nutrition for the entire forest. The final lecture will summarize the groups of fungi, the hallmarks of field identification and a summary of the genera covered in class. 

Food: Please bring a trail lunch, plenty of water, and snacks for the day.

Park Entrance Fees: Participants are responsible for purchasing their park entrance passes prior to the course. These can be purchased online at: https://www.recreation.gov/sitepass/74280.  

Academic Credit: Please see our ‘2024 Academic Credit’ link on our website to learn about OPI credits for our courses.

Course Equipment: You will receive a Field Camp gear list once you register. Most importantly are comfortable hiking shoes, snacks, water bottle at least 1-2 liters, backpack, rain gear, hat, and sunscreen. Weather can be varied, especially in the spring and fall, so please be prepared with appropriate clothing, with extra warm layers. A field journal and pencil to take notes while you learn and any field guides that you like to use are optional. If you have a basket that you like to use for collecting mushrooms please bring it along. We will provide paper bags for specimens. Please bring fresh samples of any mushrooms you have found in the week prior to class. 

Physical Requirements: Moderate hikes- less than one mile and 500 feet elevation gain. We will mostly be hiking off-trail through both open and dense stands of forest, searching for fungal friends.

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What to Expect On Your Fall Mushroom Foray | Day Guided Hike

We will learn to identify and study the complexities of local mushrooms and search for mushrooms. We will mostly be hiking off-trail through both open and dense stands of forest, searching for our fungal friends. Hikes with less than one mile and 500 feet elevation gain.

* Trails listed are subject to change due to trail closure, weather, trail conditions, or wildlife.

Program Details

  • This program meets at Glacier Institute Field Camp, West Glacier.
  • Instructor: Julia Smit
  • The program will begin at 7 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Hiking distance covers less than 1 miles and up to 500 feet elevation change.
  • Glacier National Park Vehicle Pass required, purchase at recreation.gov.
  • On-site parking available.
  • There is a maximum number of 13 hikers per trip.
  • This program has a minimum guest count of 3 people. In the unlikely case we don’t reach that number, you will be notified prior to the event.

The Glacier Institute has a 7 day cancellation policy for a full refund with all of our courses.

What to Bring

Please remember that weather in NW Montana during all seasons can change quickly from warm and sunny to freezing at any time of the year. We recommend checking the weather prior to your trip. Please also check your course information sheet for specific gear requirements in addition to those listed below.

  • Lightweight hiking boots or a sturdy pair of hiking shoes
  • 2 liter sized water bottle or Camelback
  • Day Pack with plastic bag liner or cover
  • Waterproof rain jacket and pants
  • Sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellant & lip balm
  • Camera (optional)
  • Trekking poles, if you like to use them for hiking (optional)
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Field Notebook notes and sketches

Download complete checklist here